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3 Types of Businesses that Could Use a St. Louis Virtual Office

St Louis Virtual OfficeWhen people think of great cities to do business in, or to start a business in, most of them might say New York, Boston, Chicago, or Silicon Valley. Although those are great cities for many reasons, there are smaller cities like St. Louis that are also worthwhile places to start a business and to expand your business. A virtual office can do just that, so here are three types of businesses that could use a St. Louis virtual office:

Startups

If your a brand new start up in St. Louis, then a St. Louis virtual office is a must-have. It provides a workplace that’s ready to go so you can continue building your business without having to wait for the Internet to get set up or to find the desks and other office furniture that you need. It’s also a professional address that you can use for your new business, so you don’t have to give away a home address or a P.O box.

Start up culture is also about flexibility i.e. working from home or working at all hours of the day or working in a way that’s different from what’s been done before. A St. Louis virtual office can do all of those things. Extra money isn’t wasted on a higher rent, or utility bills, or traditional infrastructure, especially when you expect to work from home often or to be on the go a lot. Virtual offices can also grow as your business grows, without having to find more room for new employees or to get additional desks, computers etc. to accommodate them.

E-Commerce/eBay Businesses

ACNielsen reported in 2006 that 1.3 million people in the United States make a primary or secondary income from eBay. I couldn’t find anything more recent than that, but it’s likely that seven years later, some of those people are still making money this way and that some of those people are in St. Louis. A St. Louis virtual office can facilitate such a business by adding more legitimacy online (with a professional address and phone number), and by providing a place to do the work where it doesn’t have to conflict with another job or to take up space in the home. Whether or not the business is eBay-based, or is just e-commerce, this type of legitimacy is important since there are way too many illegitimate sites and companies that could victimize your customers. A virtual office can show that you are different and make them more comfortable.

The Self-Employed

Although the self-employed can easily also have a startup or a an e-commerce business, that’s not everyone who is working for themselves. Those who are perhaps writers, graphic designers, computer programmers etc. could benefit from a virtual office by boosting their professional image. A virtual office is an indication that you, as a self-employed person, is competent professional who does good work and takes that work seriously, versus someone is just looking to make a few bucks on the side or to get what s/he can.

Sure, a virtual office might come with a lot more than you might need. Not everyone needs the dedicated office with the door, or the meeting space, or the receptionist, even the printing and copying services. Fortunately, most virtual offices come with options with fewer bells and whistles, so if you are self-employed, you can find an option that only has the address and mail forwarding, or only has an option of renting space when you need it. Virtual offices are not one-size-fits-all services.

So, how about it? Are you and your business ready to have a St. Louis virtual office?

How to Figure Out What You Need from a Virtual Office

virtual office space
It could be frustrating, but take the time to shop around when looking for a new virtual office space.

Virtual offices can come in many shapes and sizes, and in a variety of different packages, price ranges, and offerings. It turns out that many tenants sign a lease before taking the time to figure out what they need from a virtual office, or any office space. Signing on the first great space you come across may be smart if you’ve already done your homework and figured out what you need, but if you haven’t, then you could end up wasting the time and money of both your business and the landlord. Here’s how to figure out what you need from a virtual office before choosing a solution and signing the papers:

  1. Take a Look at Your Current Situation – Obviously, if you’re looking for a virtual office or a new office space, there’s something wrong with the current space you are in. Think about what exactly is working and what isn’t working, as this will help you to determine what you would like, and need, in the new office space.
  2. Determine Your Goal – Why are you looking for a virtual office or a new office space? Do you need to cut costs? Do you need something bigger or smaller? Do you need something in a different location? Do you need to move out of your home office? Whatever the case may be, having a goal in mind will help you to find a virtual office solution that meets your goal.
  3. Determine Your Budget – What would like to spend per month on your new office space? Having this number will help you figure out which parts of town are within your budget, what amenities you’ll be able to get within budget, and what’s a good deal. Having this number will also make it easier to pinpoint scams or ripoffs, as you’ll know what you should be getting for $12 a square foot, versus taking the first place at that price and presuming that’s what every space goes for and that’s what every space at that price comes with.
  4. How Much Time Do You Have? – If you’re a solopreneur or a startup, it might not take a long time to find the place you want and move right in. But, if you’re a bit larger, need something really specific, or want a particular building or office space, then it might take a lot longer before you’re able to move in. Figuring out how quickly you’d like to move, and considering how long it might take to make the move or to find an office space, will come in handy when working with virtual office companies and property owners.

Overall, finding the right virtual office doesn’t happen overnight. You need to take time to look at what’s available, think about what you want and need, and to find out how long it would take to make the move and to get settled in the new office space. Don’t make the mistake of trying to get it done too quickly or to take the first space you see without doing any homework! You not end up much better than from where you started.